Ruling Awami League workers will be out on the streets of capital Dhaka to resist what they describe as any ‘disorder’ by opposition BNP activists during their party’s rally on Friday. The BNP is set to hold a public meeting on the day the 90-day countdown to the 10th parliamentary election begins.
Police have given the BNP conditional permission hold a rally at the Suhrawardy Udyan.
The AL had also sought permission to hold counter programmes to that of the BNP’s, but was denied permission.
The party’s Dhaka Metropolitan City unit’s Organising Secretary Shahe Alam Murad said his party would not hold any programme since they had not been given the permission to do.
The AL’s Metropolitan City unit leaders held several meetings on Thursday to finalise their plan for Friday.
Its associate bodies, including its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League, have met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for instructions. “Our party decision is to stay vigilant tomorrow (Friday) from morning in our respective areas,” said BCL President Badiuzzaman Shohag after meeting Hasina, also the AL President.
“We will obviously help the law enforcement agencies if anyone creates disorder,” said Shohag.
The BCL activists have also been advised to attend the Friday prayer at mosques in their respective areas. They will also be available at educational institutions even on the weekend.
Islamic parties, including key BNP ally Jamaat-e-Islami, often take out processions from mosques after the Jumma prayer. Most Islamic parties are members in the 18-party opposition alliance.
The AL MPs from Dhaka AKM Rahmatullah, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Kamrul Islam, Kamal Ahmed Mazumder, Aslamul Haque Aslam and Sanzida Khanam have also had a meeting with Hasina.
The same meeting was also attended by AL’s voluntary wing President Molla Mohammad Abu Kausar and its General Secretary Pankaj Debnath, Jubo League Chairman Omar Faruk Chowdhury and General Secretary Harunur Rashid, BCL Secretary Nazmul Alam.
After the meeting, one of leaders told bdnews24.com, “Our decision is ‘no tolerance.’ We will be in our own areas. The
er has asked us to be aware if bomb was being manufactured anywhere.”
“We will be in our areas since morning. Each of us will attend the Jumma prayer, we will not let anyone go ‘unchallenged.’”
One of the AL policymakers has also talked to bdnews24.com on condition of anonymity.
“Nothing like what you are imagining will happen. Some stray incidents may take place, but I don’t think there will be anything big. We also have some information about this matter.”
“Our responsibility is to ensure security to general people. If needed, we will make the best use of the laws.”
Dhaka Metropolitan City AL held an extended meeting later in the afternoon on their Friday activities.
The AL’s Joint General Secretary Mahabub-ul Alam Hanif has urged their leaders and activists to resist ‘any conspiracy’ by the opposition.
“You remain prepared on the highway. The people of Bengal know how to respond to the use of knives and spears.”
“I have news that Jamaat-Shibir may unleash violence at different places tomorrow. They have tried to crate panic at place across the country over the last two days,” said AL’s another Joint General Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak.
“Hand over any unknown and suspicious man traveling in an area to police. The BNP-Jamaat’s violence must be resisted by working shoulder to shoulder with the law enforcers,” said another AL leader Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya.
The BNP leader Sadeq Hossain Khoka has asked its party leaders and activists to join the Friday rally with machetes, axes and sharp weapons.
Police have already banned all rallies, processions, meetings and human chains from Oct 20 until further orders, as the political confrontation has caused panic among the people.